March 08, 2019
Celebrating International Women’s Day in its Centenary year, British Airways marked the day by welcoming 100 young women to its Global Learning Academy to inspire more girls to become commercial airline pilots.
British Airways employs more female pilots than any other UK airline. More than six per cent of its flight crew is female - above the national average. However, the airline knows that there is more work to be done.
Inspiring young women
As part of the airline’s commitment to help young people from across the UK learn more about careers in aviation and on the flight deck, girls aged between 14 and 18 from 30 different schools across the South East were invited to visit British Airways’ state-of-the-art training centre to meet some of the airline’s female pilots and experience flying an aircraft in one of British Airways’ multi-million pounds flight simulators.
As well as this the 100 youngsters toured the airline’s training facilities and one of its long-haul aircraft and learnt how crew deal with challenging issues during a flight. They listened to inspirational talks from British Airways’ female pilots and trainees who shared tips on how to break into the industry, advised which subjects they should be paying close attention to at school and explained the dedication required as well as the excitement that comes with flying around the world.
The initiative supports the recent call from Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg for airlines to increase their numbers of female pilots.
British Airways First Officer Ramnique Goring, said:
“It is so important to show young girls that this job is achievable for them. As a female pilot, I see it as part of my role to inspire more young women to consider taking up this fantastic career, where women are underrepresented. I look forward to playing my part by visiting schools as part of British Airways’ ‘Your Future Flying’ Scheme and attending careers events, but this is the biggest event for women that British Airways has ever held, and I am incredibly proud to have been a part of it.”
Encouraging more young women to be pilots
Angela Williams, British Airways’ Chief People Officer said:
“We are committed to encouraging more female pilots to join the airline industry. Key to this is showing young women from an early age that this is something that they can and should aspire to. Events like this are vital for young girls as it shows them that becoming a pilot is an achievable career ambition. Studying a STEM subject and having a passion for aviation is the first stage, but through events like this one we enable them to turn their imagination into a reality and experience the thrill of flying an aircraft. It was incredible to see how enthusiastic the girls were to be a part of this event, and we were delighted to celebrate International Women’s Day with them.”
Jasmine Findlay, 14, from Heathside School, Weybridge, who attended the event, said:
“Before today I had never really thought about what job I wanted in the future, I just knew I needed to do well at school. I’m always so excited to fly when I go on holiday, so to feel this excitement every day when I go to work would be amazing!”
In further celebration of International Women’s Day British Airways has added a new category to its in-flight entertainment; Wonder Women. The channel will run until the end of March and features empowering, feel-good movies and TV shows such as, Absolutely Fabulous, Battle of the Sexes, and of course Wonder Woman.
Over the next five years British Airways is investing £6.5 billion to improve its customer experience, including new aircraft, new cabins, new catering, new lounges, WiFi, and new routes.